Return to Appreciating Literature
‘The Heart is a Lonely Hunter' by Carson McCullers.‘
Carson McCullers led an extraordinary life, sadly cut short through ill health and much of this book appears to be autobiographical in content. It is not really a story but a journey, full of scenes that truly depicted the harsh life in the southern states of America in the 1930's. The language is obviously dated and some words grated on us but the topics McCullers wrote about – racism, poverty, discrimination on several levels, loneliness and isolation are still pertinent and very much with us in society today.
'The Heart is a Lonely Hunter' is a mixture of brutal events and cruelty but also of extreme understanding and compassion. The pivotal character is a lonely deaf-mute surrounded by a disparate group of people who are drawn towards him because of his kind, sympathetic nature. He is wonderful example of a person who through listening (lip reading) helped so many people and yet no one realised just how lonely he was, and how tragic his own life had become. One member thought there were too many characters making the book somewhat confusing. However, overall we thought the book was thought provoking and we were all pleased to have read it.